|Electromechanical coupling mechanism for activation and inactivation of an HCN channel.|
Dai G, Aman TK, DiMaio F, Zagotta WN.
Nature communications. 2021; 12(1): 2802
Pacemaker hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) ion channels exhibit a reversed voltage-dependent gating, activating by membrane hyperpolarization instead of depolarization. Sea urchin HCN (spHCN) channels also undergo inactivation with hyperpolarization which occurs only in the absence of cyclic nucleotide. Here we applied transition metal ion FRET, patch-clamp fluorometry and Rosetta modeling to measure differences in the structural rearrangements between activation and inactivation of spHCN channels. We found that removing cAMP produced a largely rigid-body rotation of the C-linker relative to the transmembrane domain, bringing the A' helix of the C-linker in close proximity to the voltage-sensing S4 helix. In addition, rotation of the C-linker was elicited by hyperpolarization in the absence but not the presence of cAMP. These results suggest that - in contrast to electromechanical coupling for channel activation - the A' helix serves to couple the S4-helix movement for channel inactivation, which is likely a conserved mechanism for CNBD-family channels.